Frenemy: an oxymoron and a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” that refers to “a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry” or “a person who combines the characteristics of a friend and an enemy.
I have all but completed the dialogue for Peter’s friend, Billy King, in Syrena. Just a few little bits in one chapter and that’s it.
Billy King made a few brief appearances in Urban Mermaid but plays a much bigger part in the sequel. The reader will learn quite a bit about the character in the book, and this post gives the nuts and bolts of his back story.
William King III hails from Alexandria, VA and is the oldest of two children. His mother is something of a socialite, and his father is a minor mover and shaker in Alexandria. The following should give you a quick sketch of life in the King household. During the Christmas holidays, the only time the whole family is together is on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. On Boxing Day, Mr and Mrs King depart for a golfing and shopping holiday in Bermuda. Their two children usually do not accompany their parents. When it’s time for Billy to return to Florida, his parents are still in Bermuda. His sister is too busy farewelling her girlfriends, before returning to college, to see Billy off on the train.
Billy has several character flaws. Some are the result of his upbringing. Some are a byproduct of his talent. Anyone who does not come up to his standards of dress, grooming, behaviour, is somehow an inferior person. Billy is an extremely talented musician and that has left him conceited. He believes he can have any girl he wants via the proper application of the old Billy King charm.
Billy was Peter’s roommate in college. He saw Peter’s struggles with the opposite sex and took pity on him. When Peter’s fortunes did not improve under his tutelage, he declared Peter to be a lost cause and after that looked upon him in a condescending way.
Billy cannot figure out how Peter wound up with a real fox such as Penelope or why she stays with him. He gives ever decreasing estimates as to how long the marriage will last and plans to catch her on the rebound.
In short, Billy King is a frenemy.
You may remember the turn of the century parade of painted cows that appeared on the streets of New York City, Chicago, Houston, and even Tasmania. They were made of fibreglass and given to artists to decorate with various colours and patterns.
The painted cows, or coos if you’re Scottish, begat painted pigs which appeared on the streets of Seattle, Atlanta, and a good number of other cities. This example was decorated to represent a merpig.
Norfolk has a mermaid vibe to it. Perhaps that’s why I go there so much. They have painted mermaids scattered all over the area. In Virginia Beach, there is a shop called The Mermaid Factory. There, you can buy a plaster version of the Norfolk mermaid and paint/decorate it however you choose. (I painted one to look like Penelope.)
One of these mermaids – the big kind – swims just outside Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story. She is painted with the naval camouflage on the upper part of her body and the U.S.M.C. camouflage on her tail. The base emblem is displayed on her hip.
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